It’s time for “RiffTrax Live: Time Chasers Encore Presentation”
About 40 theatergoers attended the re-broadcast of the RiffTrax Live event at Regal Cinemas’ Germantown 14 cineplex venue on the evening of May 17. Presented in conjunction with Fathom Events, the RiffTrax event was originally seen live via satellite in select theaters from coast-to-coast earlier this month.
The special presentation featured RiffTrax founders (and MST3K alums) Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett riffing David Giancola’s 1994 low-budget sleeper, “Time Chasers.” The event was filmed on May 5 at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s James K. Polk Theater in Nashville, Tennessee.
Before “Time Chasers:” A Short Subject
Shortly before the presentation of “Time Chasers,” the cast of RiffTrax hilariously mocked the 1948 Castle Films* short subject oddity that was released for the home movie market, “Chimp the Fireman.”
According to Scott MacGillvray’s book, “Castle Films: A Hobbyist’s Guide,” the film was a condensed version of a film that was originally released by Paramount Pictures in 1936, titled “The Rookie Fireman.” The short was later reissued by Universal Studios** as “Mr. Chimp to the Rescue” in 1946.
After the riffed Castle short, it was time for the RiffTrax version of “Time Chasers.” The film was originally mocked on “Mystery Science Theater 3000” (Episode #821), which originally aired on Nov. 22, 1997.
Filmed in Vermont four years before it was released (according to Satellite News), the film was about a Castleton University professor and amateur aviator (portrayed by Matthew Bruch) that developed a time machine through the use of his Commodore 64 computer, only to prevent the misuse of the device from the hands of an evil CEO (portrayed by George Woodard).
“Time Chasers” had all essential elements of cheesy movies- instances of overacting, various continuity problems and unusual dialogue bits. In the spirit of MST3K, Mike, Kevin and Bill made the film more hilarious through the fine art of riffing.
The entire audience at the “RiffTrax Live: Time Chasers” rebroadcast in Germantown enjoyed every minute of the event. According to one Germantown moviegoer who identified himself as “Pete,” he enjoyed his first taste of RiffTrax on the big screen.
“This was a lot of fun,” he said.
An exciting time that was enjoyed by all
From the jovial pre-show trivia segment, to the digital goodie pacakge, to the riffing of “Chimp the Fireman” and “Time Chasers,” this RiffTrax presentation was a hilarious and worthwhile experience. It would have been nice if Regal’s Germantown cinema complex had posters or placards identifying the RiffTrax event, instead of a generic “special presentation” placard.
Aside from all that, RiffTrax’s presentation of “Time Chasers” was fun and enjoyable.
A “Silver Screen Reflections” Shout-Out: The writer of “Silver Screen Reflections” (along with a friend who declined to be mentioned in this blog post) would like to thank the people at RiffTrax and Fathom Events for the press passes to the rebroadcast of “RiffTrax Live: Time Chasers.” It was an enjoyable and fun experience. Thank you letting us be a part of the presentation!
SIDEBAR: *Castle Films was better known for reissuing short “highlight” versions of older Universal films for the home market, including Abbott & Costello comedies and the studio’s legendary horror features (after 1947, when Universal acquired the home movie distribution firm and put it under the studio’s nontheatrical unit, United World Films).
**”Chimp The Fireman” was not connected to Universal’s later acquisition of the pre-1948 Paramount Pictures sound motion picture library. The pre-48 Paramount films (excluding shorts) were acquired by MCA for television syndication in the late 1950s and would become a part of Universal’s library in 1962, when MCA acquired Decca Records (American Decca), then-parent of Universal.